Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Banking matters

I had an interesting conversation with a British friend yesterday. He used to work in the City and offered some insight into the banks - especially the news that John Hourican had just resigned from the Bank of Cyprus. His view was that the asset strippers would soon be on the march, with the support of the troika and that only one Cypriot bank would survive. This view focussed the mind.

Which bank would survive? Well his view was that the Co-op Bank, which is in the process of restructuring, would just about survive but that the others (including our Hellenic Bank) would go to the wall, with the burden of NPLs proving too great.

We keep an account with an UK bank, and transfer money - when needed - across to the Hellenic. Sometimes we are a bit tardy about withdrawing that money immediately from the Hellenic, but this conversation was a kick in the pants and we shall be much more proactive. As with many expats in Cyprus, the memory of the "haircut" is very recent, although we were fortunately not affected financially.

At some stage in the near future we shall investigate opening an account with the Co-op Bank here - a sort of belt and braces strategy. In the fullness of time this will feature in my ebook guide to Retirement in a chapter on Finance. But, as with all these matters, I would hate to give an opinion based on other peoples' views, rather than my own personal experience.

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